Dec 14, 2017
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Gear Review: Women’s Rab Waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket

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Women’s Rab Waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket Review

We took the Rab Waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket to 26 different countries over 14 months. We traveled from the chill of Greenland right through to Sydney, Australia passing lots of different climates along the way. We would 100% recommend this jacket if you want a good breathable, waterproof and windproof outershell.
Ice fjord, rab jacket review, neoshell for women

We chose the Rab Waterproof Stretch Neo jacket due to it’s glowing reviews and mainly due to the flexible stretchy material.

This Rab waterproof definitely lives up to its name, its material is super comfortable and it makes a perfect waterproof for all types of activities. The fabric is soft so doesn’t restrict movement in any way and it’s a very breathable outer shell. This Waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket is a great choice for walking, and it’s ideal for more active movements such as running, climbing or skiing.

Reykjavik Rab jacket review, women's outershell

The Polartec Fabric

This Rab jacket is made with Polartec® NeoShell® which is a breathable and waterproof fabric, giving it a combination of supple stretch, breathability, and overall comfort.

Care of the Polartec Neoshell:

  • 30 degrees wash
  • Recommended use of a light detergent or technical cleaner such as Grangers or Nikwax Tech Wash
  • Do not use fabric conditioner
  • Do Not bleach
  • Do not dry clean or tumble dry – line dry instead
  • Wash with all zips closed

  • Tips from Polartec

    At Polartec®, we don’t always know what trim or special features clothing companies may have applied to the finished garment. So please refer to the care instructions on the garment in addition to our general suggestions.

    Front-loading washing machines are preferred if possible. They are gentler on fabrics and use less water generally than top-loading agitation-style machines.

    Detergents and machine-washing in general gradually degrade the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment on fabrics. To get the best performance, run an extra rinse cycle, and tumble dry low if garment care instructions allow.

    Some fabric treatments like Polartec® Power Care™ DWR require warm water and some time in the dryer to be activated. Follow the specific instructions on the bottle when using a fabric treatment product.

    For further information on how to care for polartec neoshell, visit Polartec.

    Rab neoshell jacket review


  • Helmet compatible hood with wired peak
  • YKK Aquaguard front zip with internal storm flap and chin guard
  • 2 external Napoleon YKK Aquaguard zip pockets
  • 2 internal mesh zipped pockets
  • Double exit hem draw cord
  • Velcro adjustable cuff tabs
  • Reflective trim
  • Medium cut
  • Weight: 480g (women’s)
  • Polartec NeoShell
  • Weight: 136g/m
  • Composition: 100% nylon face and 100% Polyester back
  • Warp: 50 Denier
  • Weft: 50 Denier
  • DWR/Spray: 80/20
  • HH in mm: 10,000
  • MVTR: N/A
  • Air Perm: 0.5CFM
  • Dog sledding, rab neoshell jacket review

    Where we took the Women’s Rab Waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket

    Ilulissat, Greenland – The Arctic Circle(-45°C, Windy)

    Rab claims the Stretch Neo Jacket to be 99% windproof. This was put to the test in Greenland where we experienced temperatures of -45°C. The ice cold blasts of wind were barely felt through this excellent windbreaker, which was accompanied with a thermal undercoat.
    Ilulissat, Rab jacket review, neoshell, women

    Greenland, rab neoshell jacket review

    Greenland, rab jacket review, neoshell

    Rab Neoshell, outer shell jacket review

    New Orleans (12°C, Windy, Heavy Rain)

    There was a brisk wind by the Mississippi River which was felt in this jacket, however when accompanied with an insulated layer underneath, this was sufficient to keep warm and dry. The bottom of the jacket can be tightened using the two drawcords, making it a great windbreaker. This jacket is not warm on its own, as expected from an outershell, but it lived up to its expectation of being 100% waterproof when we had a downpour in New Orleans.
    rab jacket revieww, new orleans, wet climate

    Reykjavik, Iceland (-10°C, Heavy Snowfall, Heavy Rain)

    The Rab waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket was really put to the test in Reykjavik, where it was battered by the elements. We got caught up in true winter stormy conditions on our South Shore Adventure Tour, where we experienced bone chilling temperatures, heavy snowfall, heavy rain and sunshine throughout the day.
    Rab jacket review, neoshell, reykjavik

    The Rab Waterproof Neostretch was comfortable to wear on this day trip. Most importantly, it kept us dry all day with no leakage.
    Rab jacket review, neoshell, reykjavik

    We did feel like our face and hair were not fully protected by forceful rain and snow, but this is because we realised we were not wearing the hood properly.

    The Rab jacket has a helmet compatible hood with wired a peak and roll down hook and loop tab so the hood can be tightened up or can hang down. There are 2 drawcords either side of the hood and one on the back, to keep the head dry.

    Hood at waterfall, Rab jacket review in rain

    Caye Caulker, Belize (25°C, Humid, Hot, Heavy Rain)

    This jacket is good to wear during unexpected downpours in humid conditions. It is light enough to not allow the body to overheat, but it would be ideal to see this jacket have air vents at the sides to allow a circulation of air when necessary.
    Rab neoshell review, hot climate, Belize

    Yellowstone National Park (19°C, Rain, Sun, Cold, Humid)

    The Rab was put to the test in Yellowstone National Park, where we experienced a range of weather conditions due to the constant change in elevation levels.
    Rab neoshell jacket for women, review, Yellowstone national park
    Although it doesn’t come with a stuffable sack, this jacket is easy enough to pack away and lightweight.
    Rab blue neoshell jacket review
    There was an occassion when condensation and damp was felt and this was likely to be because correct washing instructions were not followed. We would highly reccommend this jacket to anyone looking for a breathable waterproof, just make sure you don’t use fabric conditioner or a tumble dryer!

    Hood of Rab Neoshell outser windbreaker jacket

    Overall Review of the Rab Waterproof Stretch Neo Jacket


  • Very comfortable and stretchy material – Great for all activities.
  • Quick drying.
  • Highly breathable
  • Multi-climate, great protection in all elements tested from -45°C to +26°C.
  • Lightweight, perfect for traveling long-term.
  • Durable shoulders – we were always carrying a daypack, a camera strap or a heavy backpack, there were no signs of wear whatsoever.
  • Lots of useful pockets.
  • The zips are nice and long and very durable.
  • 100% Windproof, tested in -45c wind chill in the Arctic Circle, no leakage (warm with appropriate layers underneath).
  • 100% Waterproof until we washed it and failed to reproof it properly.
  • The hood is a perfect shape and is comfortable when the hem cords are tightened correctly.
  • The hem cords are perfectly located on the hood and at the bottom of the jacket.
  • The wrist cuffs have velcro straps for extra security.
  • Cons

  • Doesn’t pack or fold down easily. We’d love to see it fold into its own pocket or a small bag.
  • A thorough reproofing process should be followed, may not be ideal for long-term backpacking.
  • Slight fading of the color after washing several times (but correct washing instructions were not followed).

  • Our recommendations if buying the Women’s Rab Stretch Neo Jacket

    Buy a size up if you’re planning on wearing a base layer or two.
    Use the inside secret pocket for money or valuables.
    Tighten the hood correctly to fully protect the head and face.
    Read the washing instructions carefully and learn how to care for your polartec neoshell.
    Read the polartec product care instructions thoroughly before buying.

    For more information, see the official Rab Website.

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    GEAR REVIEW, Women's Rab Jacket Stretch Neoshell, Polartec

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